23
Mar
12

one of the darker sides of technology

In a report on this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland from the March 5 New Yorker:

There’s a software firm by the name of Tibco, based in Silicon Valley, which has generated data-sorting software for companies such as Amazon, FedEx, Goldman Sachs, eBay airlines, and the Department of Homeland Security. They have also designed a program for Harrah’s, the well-known casino, which “can figure out when a gambler is about to encounter a loss of such magnitude that it will cause him to leave the casino and perhaps never come back. The casino’s Luck Ambassadors [I’m not making this up] will then offer the gambler a free meal or a ticket to a show. . .and distract the gambler long enough to entice him to return later, to continue losing money in palatable increments.”

Well, at least it’s palatable.

 

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2 Responses to “one of the darker sides of technology”


  1. March 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Money, sadly, is its own justification.

  2. 2 Sam
    March 23, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    They were talking about this on one episode of Radiolab. It was actually very interesting. Each Casino member has a card with some insignificant reward system, and the card must be inserted into the machine to play. Their tendencies are recorded, including how far in the hole they go before they quit. It’s really very fascinating, and I don’t think it’s that scummy, because a casino patron’s psychological reward system is based on more than the monetary value that they earn.


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